Adam Lane had been involved with OYT South for several years as a TMI Sponsor; but in 2011 he decided to become more hands-on as a sailing volunteer. Here's what he thought of the experience.
I’ve had my gills wet before – many times in fact. Regular coastal holidays as a kid and a Dad who’s fanatical about sailing ensured a fairly predictable induction to yachting. And, on reflection, not a moment regretted.
When getting involved with OYT South, the first thing you’ll realise is that it’s reach is far beyond the sailing world.
At the young age of forty (& a bit) along came Ocean Youth Trust South. I’d been on the periphery of OYT for some years already – the company I worked for at the time (TMI) had been sponsors of OYT South. So I had an impression of the supposed impact that the experience on board John Laing could bring to young people.
However, in May 2011, I completed my assessment to become a volunteer 2nd mate and it’s not until you witness the sheer joy in the eyes of certain kids you’ve sailed with that it really comes home.
In particular, ‘G’ (the mouse) hardly spoke and was somewhat over-shadowed by other delightfully dominant characters – however the beam on his face, the 2 thumbs up & the spark in his eyes towards the end of the week just spoke volumes.
As for ‘C’ – what a dynamo, so mature and so different to the profile that the sea staff had been presented with. Ditch the energy drinks, give him responsibility and surround him by positive encouragers – he’ll soar.
Sometime it’s the smallest things – timid ‘R’...she lit up when she got into the groove of rowing.
Shifts in attitude and an increased sense of responsibility and a realisation of their own abilities – yes, plenty of it.
Let’s be realistic, a week on John Laing won’t change the world, but I’ve seen it make a world of change for a handful of kids.
That’s worth my time & my support for sure.